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Terry McAuliffe Addresses General Assembly For First Time As Gov - abc27 WHTM

Terry McAuliffe Addresses General Assembly For First Time As Governor

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Richmond, VA - Monday, following the first full day of his administration at the helm in Richmond, Governor Terry McAuliffe laid out his priorities to state lawmakers.

Much of McAuliffe's speech was a plea to part ways with partisanship. But he hit all the major milestones that he marked in his campaign. From standardized test reform, to southwest transportation improvement, the new Governor made his plan crystal clear.

It was a somber start to Terry McAuliffe's first joint General Assembly address, "J Michael Phillippi of Martinsville, one of our State Troopers who died in the line of duty this past Saturday."

A moment of silence honoring a State Trooper from Martinsville was followed by some powerful promises from Virginia's new Governor.

"Let's resolve tonight to come together around thoughtful, meaningful and effective reforms to the standard of learning tests" said McAuliffe.

An echo of campaign promises began with a rally to reform the controversial SOL tests.

"They are now a generation old and they need to be modernized to fit the needs of today's families and today's economy" he said.

McAuliffe's pitches continued.

From immigration, "The general assembly should not wait another year to pass the bi-partisan dream act" to health care reform, "There are almost one million Virginians who lack health insurance coverage" said McAuliffe.

McAuliffe was an outspoken supporter of his Republican predecessor's landmark transportation package. He lended praise Monday to the assembly for their lack of partisanship when passing the bill.

"The bipartisan leadership of this General Assembly deserves so much credit for passing the first major transportation package in 27 years" he said.

He ended with a final promise, to part ways with partisanship and accomplish what he says his campaign set out to do.

"There's no challenge too great, no debate too intractable and no idea too ambitious, that we cannot come together on common ground to build the future our families deserve" he said.

McAuliffe also signed a series of executive orders on Monday. The first prohibited discrimination among state employees based on sexual orientation. Another was signed that placed a $100 gift limit on the Governor's office.

 

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In response to the address, the Chairman of the Republican Part of Virginia issued the following statement:

"After hearing Governor McAuliffe's speech, I remain cautiously optimistic about the course he intends to chart for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Thus far I've been pleasantly surprised with all but one of his cabinet nominations."

"Nonetheless, Republicans will remain vigilant and will hold both Governor McAuliffe and the newly-elected Democratic Executive Branch accountable. And one of Governor McAuliffe's central policy initiatives - the expansion of Obamacare in Virginia through Medicaid - was, and remains, a terrible idea. "

"As we've detailed time and time again, expanding Medicaid will eventually leave Virginia on the hook for billions of dollars that our Commonwealth simply doesn't have, and would actually degrade the quality of health care for Virginians -- without improving health outcomes for those Virginians who need help the most."

"Regardless, I wish Governor McAuliffe and his team well, and hope they meet with success. Virginians deserve no less."

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